Community Engagement has had an extremely busy year with a focus on event delivery, improving our social media communication tools and engaging our volunteer, small business and local government NRM community.
The Community Capacity project uses the Perth NRM Community Capacity Assessment to identify capacity gaps and inform the delivery of training and other competence building activities for the Landcare community as part of the Sustainable Communities program.
A number of successful events have been hosted over the last 12 months based on the capacity gaps identified in our assessments. These events attracted over 195 participants combined from 110 different local councils, businesses and groups.
The delivery of training and other capacity building activities
Perth NRM hosted a Social Media Workshop providing a starters’ guide to using social media with a focus on Facebook and how it can be used by environmental volunteer groups to get their message out, advertise their events and celebrate their successes. The event resulted in 12 environmental groups using social media more effectively to promote their messages, promote the work they do and attract a new audience to their activities.
At the end of 2016 a series of workshops on weed management were held. Attendees to the Volunteer Guide to Bushland Weeds event were provided with a copy of Perth NRM’s newest publication ‘Weed Control Guide for Volunteers: Bushland’, which is a weed identification and control field guide helping volunteers to better structure their weed control efforts. The Volunteer Guide to Bushland Weeds workshop is one of three weed control targeted workshops run under the Volunteer Capacity Building in NRM series.
The Volunteer Guide to Coastal Weeds workshops held in both Tuart Hill and North Fremantle, addressed topics of weed identification techniques and tools, management and control options, site safety, and relationships with land managers. An introductory workshop, it was aimed at new volunteers to give them the resources necessary to begin identifying and managing weeds in their chosen coastal location.
The Community Capacity Building workshops were complimented by the Professional Development in Environmental Management seminars.
The Climate Change Seminar, focused on cross boundary collaborations between councils and on forward thinking councils that are putting strategies in place currently.
Cat Management in the Swan Region provided an overview of the management of domestic, stray and feral cats in the Swan Region. Following the workshop, discussions have commenced between Murdoch University and two local governments to investigate the application of deterrents in natural areas to manage cats and conserve native wildlife.
The Bird Management Seminar hosted three expert speakers, addressing government regulation, contractor methods and current research addressed Bird management in the Perth Region. The topics addressed ways to help endemic species win back territories from foreign invaders, as well as obscure data like the impact rodent baiting is having on owl populations.
Our Managing Sediment runoff in the Swan Region seminar, identified the issues around managing building sediment from the initial site clearing and development stage through to construction on individual sites, and handover to the owners. Capacity to influence behaviour by the developers, builders and the construction industry and to regulate site practices at the key stages was discussed.
Managing significant native plant diseases of south west WA provided information on successful international programs on citizen science, shared by Kat Sambrooks. The role of engaging the public in recording and managing the threatening processes of Phytophthora Dieback and the extent of marri canker were discussed.
Sustainable communities work together
Perth NRM hosted two large scale community events over the 12 month period including; Champions of the Living Landscapes and the Living Landscapes Conference. Champions of the Living Landscapes outlined the results of the Community Capacity in NRM survey conducted in 2016 and celebrated the volunteers with Awards in various environmental volunteering categories. The survey had 87 participants in 2016 and we will be running the survey again in late 2017.
The inaugural Living Landscapes Conference held in May 2017 was a large scale community event aimed at bringing together the community and sharing experiences and information. Over 150 delegates gathered at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre to hear a range of speakers. Professor Lyn Beazley was an inspiring and gracious opening Keynote Speaker, her experiences and passion for science were highlighted by her reference to local Citizen Science projects that many delegates were involved in. Simon Cherriman was also hugely popular and his footage of eagles and special on-stage guest Carnaby Cocktaoo was especially well received.